One, when Jesus died He said to the malefactor on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” [Luke 23:43]; not in sheol, and not in hades, but up there where God is, where I am going. And I think this beautiful passage, so familiar to us in the twenty-fourth Psalm, is also a prefiguration and a prophecy of that glorious entrance into heaven:  “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory will come in? Think of it. And we get our English word “triumph” from it. Who is the King of glory? Inspirational devotions delivered right to your email inbox. I think that’s what it means when He saith, “When He ascended up on high, He carried captivity captive” [Ephesians 4:8]; those that would make us captive, send us down in sin and death and grave and hell, those that would capture us, He captured them and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them [Colossians 2:15]. Ephesians 4:8. It is found again in these passages—and they are multiplied: So they say in the Old Testament that the Old Testament saints, when they died, they went to a waiting place, in sheol, in hades, awaiting for the great atonement of our Lord. So when the Lord went through this creation, from this earth through the air, through the heavens, when He went through [Hebrews 4:14], He went through the kingdom of the demons, the kingdom of Satan; and they tried to impede His progress, that He might not present Himself and fulfill His work as the great High Priest of His people [Hebrews 4:14]. For example, in this psalm, in the sixty-eighth Psalm that the apostle Paul is quoting here [Ephesians 4:8], he says, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels [Psalm 68:17]:  the Lord is among them . And our foes are utterly and completely demolished and overcome! This is a prophecy, it is a picture, and a glorious one, of the Lord’s ascension into heaven with the angelic host [Psalm 68:17]—the Revelation calls them “thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” [Revelation 5:11]—when He entered into heaven, there was the great acclamation of all of the angels in glory and all of the saints of all time. That is very plainly presented in the New Testament. Whether it’s in heaven, or whether it’s in earth, or whether it’s in hell, we’ve been liberated and freed from it all in this triumph of Jesus our Lord. And they point out these passages. Apekdusamenos is a Greek word, it’s a passive word, reflective, something that a man does to himself, “wholly to strip off from oneself”; “And having wholly stripped off from Himself the archēs and exousias,” the orders of angelic demons, “He made a show of them openly, deigmatizō,” He exhibited them openly [Colossians 2:15]—usually that word is used in disgrace. I think it refers, He led captive those who had tried to make Him captive. Death tried to bind Him. Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 more. And He lives forever with His saints to reign. And so certainly did the grave try to hold Him that they placed on the stone a Roman seal and set there a guard before it [Matthew 27:66]. So they say when the Lord ascended up through this domain of Satan, the fallen creation over which Satan presides, that when the Lord ascended [Ephesians 4:8], the demons tried to impede His progress and to keep Him from appearing as the great High Priest and consummating our salvation in heaven [Hebrews 4:14]. Ephesians 4:1-16 Live lives worthy of your calling, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit. The passage is a quotation from Psalm 68:18:  “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive.”  And they say that this psalm written by David refers to some unknown victory of David when he liberated the captives that the enemies had taken from Israel and brought them back in triumph to their homes. He destroyed Satan and all of his kingdom, and tied Satan to His chariot wheels [Colossians 2:15]. It is found again—now these are just typical passages I’m citing—it is found again in Job, who because of his misery, Job cried, “O that God would hide me in sheol”  [Job 14:13]. And to love the Savior, to give Him your life, to share your home and family with us in this dear church, to come forward as God should press any appeal upon your heart, would you do it now? Now next Sunday we shall speak of those grace gifts that the Lord Jesus from heaven bestows upon men. So we know that when a saved man dies today, he goes directly to God, to Paradise, where Jesus is [Luke 23:43]. Then they point out that when He was buried, Satan tried to keep Him buried, rolling a great stone over the grave, putting a Roman seal on the stone, and setting a guard there to watch it [Matthew 27:66]. Why, last Sunday the choir sang it: Glory, I’m saved! And they refer to this, “Thou hast led captivity,” they refer to that word “captivity” as referring to a multitude of captives. When He ascended up on high, when the Lord entered into glory, raised from the dead [Luke 24:26], having made atonement for our sins [Hebrews 2:17], now what does that mean, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive”? Do it, and God bless you in the way as you come, and as we stand and sing. O Lord, hold my hand while I shout! Ephesians 4:8, NASB : "Therefore it says, 'WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.'" But when you turn to the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, these scholars say, it was not so:  they went to sheol, they went to hades, they went to a waiting place for the atonement of Christ. We are free. Now I present what they mean by that interpretation. ), when Abraham died, the Old Testament said he was “gathered unto his fathers”, When Ishmael died he was “gathered unto his fathers”, When Jacob died he was “gathered unto his fathers”, When Joseph died he was gathered unto his fathers, When David died he “slept with his fathers,” with his people, And when Solomon died he slept with his people.

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